The most important of the Vedic Mantras that are used during Homa, Vrata and Ceremonial worship are the Purusha Sukta and the Shree Sukta. Shaivas, Shaktas and Vaishnavas use Shree Sukta alike. Most Hindus are familiar with this popular Sukta but are not aware of its deep philosophical significance. Shree Sukta is one of the `Khila' Suktas of Rig Veda. `Khila' means an appendix. This part does not belong to the main part of the Rig Veda, but appears to have been included at a later time. Raatri Sukta, Shivasankalpa Sukta, Medha Sukta, are all Khila Suktas. Sukta means a collection of Vedic mantras. A collection of Suktas is called a Mandala. Rig Veda has 1028 Suktas, 10,552 mantras and ten Mandalas. All mantras are, however not recognized by special Sukta names. This special group includes the Agni Sukta beginning with the Rik `Agnimiile' (first Mandala, First Sukta), the Purusha Sukta beginning with the Rik `Sahasra shiirsha' (10/60), the Devi Sukta beginning with the Rik `Aham rudrebhiH' (10/125), the Ratri Sukta beginning with the mantra `Raatrii vyakhyadaayatii' (10/127) and the Sri Sukta. The actual number of Suktas in the rig Veda is 1017. However by addition of khila Suktas, known as the Vaalikhilya Suktas, the number becomes 1028.
Shree Sukta is found at the end of the fifth mandala and before the commencement of the sixth mandala of rig Veda. This mandala is also called Atreya mandala. Because this Sukta comprises of fifteen Rig mantras, it is called ` Panchadasharcha'. During Parayana, additional verses are also added, though these are not considered to be a part of the Shree Sukta. Shree Sukta is very popular because it is used in the worship of Sri Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity. However it does not address Lakshmi as merely the goddess of wealth and as the consort of Sri Narayana. It is a prayer to the divine mother of the cosmos. She is seen as the very power behind the sun and the moon. She is also identified with Agni or fire. Other gods like Shiva and Vishnu depend on this cosmic Shakti or power for all their doings. She is `Narayani', the power of Sri Narayana, but at the same time she is also `Tryambake', the consort of the three-eyed Lord, Sri Mahadeva.
The word `Shree' has its origin in the dhatu (verbal root) `Shriy'. This means `to take refuge' or `to serve'. By adding `Aing' upasarga (a preposition prefixed to roots) to this dhatu, we obtain the word `Shree'. `Shreeyate sarvaiH iti ShreeH' - which means Shree is that cosmic energy who is the refuge of all creatures. She exists as life and intellect, the greatest of all wealths, in every being. Hence the Markandeya Purana says, `Ya Devi sarva bhooteshu laksmi roopena samsthitaa'- I bow down to that great goddess who is present as Lakshmi in all creatures. Lakshmi also means a sign or mark of Chaitanya (energy) and Vibhooti (power or greatness). This great goddess is referred to as `Ishwari' - the supreme leader of the universe in the Durga Saptashati. Thus Shree not only means the goddess of wealth, but also signifies the magnanimous aspect of Sridevi as the mother of the cosmos. Kalika Purana calls her, the second-less Atmavidya and as the Mahavidya, the great knowledge of the self. She is thus understood to be the very proto-type of Parabrahman. `Shree' indicates feminine gender. This is what makes the people attribute a feminine form to Sri Lakshmi. However, this great Tatva of Shree is above the limited visualization of gender and form.
The Dakshinamurthy Samhita says, " Yoshit Purusha roopena sphurantee vishwamatrukaa' - this great Tatva, which is the root-cause of the universe, shines in both male and female forms. Thus, this Tatva of Shree represents both Purusha and Prakriti. Vamakeshwara Tantra hence calls this great Shakti as the very Parabrahman. This Tatva is what the aspirants of Tantra call yoni and Linga. The pre-conditioned form of Shree is `Parabrahman'. The conditioned aspect of Shree is `Parashakti'. The great pillar of fire, which shines in the hearts of the illumined, destroying the darkness of duality, is indeed `Shree'. In the Devi Upanishad, when Sridevi is asked, ` Who are you?' She replies, ` I am the Brahman, from me is this world composed of Prakriti and Purusha'. The objective of this conversation is to indicate the non-separateness of the two above-said aspects. Thus the female or the Shakti Tatva is non-different from the Purusha or Shiva Tatva, even as the moon and its shine. Though the deeper philosophical significance of Shree Sukta may be outlined thus, the Sukta also makes use of a beautiful approach to the worship of Saguna Brahman, visualized here as Sri Mahalakshmi. The deity of Shree Sukta is a personification of auspiciousness and prosperity. There are various commentaries on this khila Sukta. Sayanacharya and Prithvidharacharya, who have composed commentaries on the entire Vedas, have also written commentaries on Shree Sukta. We understand the actual meaning of the Sukta only by referring to any of these enlightening commentaries. Another Shaiva scholar called Srikantha has also written a wonderful commentary on Shree Sukta. He identifies Shree with Gauri and Jaataveda with Shiva. There are many more works that elaborate on Shree Sukta from the viewpoint of mantra Shastra. Some of these are: Mantrakalpaarnava, Vaikhaanasavidya, Lakshmiyamala, Shreeratnakosha, Shreetatwa, Mahalakshmiratnakosha, Shreevidyavilasa etc.
Each mantra of this Sukta has a different Rishi (seer), Chandas (metre), Devi (deity) and Viniyoga (ritual application). If we consider the entire Sukta as a whole, then the Rishis are: Ananda, Chikleeta, Kardama, Shreeda and Indira, who are said to be the sons of goddess Lakshmi. The two deities of the Samashti Sukta (the entire Sukta) are Agni and Shree Devi. The verse `HiranyanarNaam' is said to be the Bija of the Sukta. Bija is the source from which the entire mantra takes its origin. The verse `Taam ma aavaha' is the Shakti. Shakti is the part of the mantra where the entire power of the mantra remains encapsulated. The verse `Keertimriddhim' is the Kilaka. Kilaka is that pole or nail, to which the aspirant of the mantra has to tie up his mind, with complete concentration.
Here is a translation of the Sukta with some additional notes. I have not tried to explain the Paaribhaashika meaning of this great Sukta, revealing the aspects of Kunndalini yoga and Srividya, the sole reason being the scriptural injunction that bans revealing these to the uninitiated. However, every one can understand and appreciate the beauty of this Sukta, as a prayer to the mother of the cosmos. I have followed a transliteration scheme here, so that Vedic swaras could be incorporated into the Sukta.
The first Verse:
hira\`NyavarNaa~M\_ hari\`Nii~M su\_varNaraja\_tasra\`jaa~M |
cha\_ndraa~M hi\_raNma\`yii~M la\_kShmii~M jaata\`vedo ma\_ aa va\`ha ||
O Jaataveda, bring Sri Lakshmi to me, that Lakshmi who has a golden complexion, who is beautiful like the female deer, who shines like the moon and who has an enchanting form.
This verse is a prayer to Agni or the Vedic fire-god. According to the Vedic rituals, all Gods and Goddesses are propitiated by means of fire-sacrifice. Hence, though the deity referred to here is indeed Lakshmi, the prayer is to Agni. The Bija, Shakti and Kilaka of this mantra are respectively, Shreem, Hrim and Klim. The deities are Jaatavedaagni, Agni Durga and Mahalakshmi. The word Jaataveda has various meanings. Some relevant meanings are listed here: The Mahabharata says, ` VedaaH tvadartham JaataaH' (231,41) - the Vedas are born for you! That great Purusha for whom the Vedas originated is said to be Jaataveda. All Vedic mantras are invocation of deities. Ordinary mortals, having their consciousness fixed in the earthly planes, cannot comprehend the divine forms of these deities. Thus all of them are visualized through the medium of Agni or sacrificial fire. The offerings to the various deities are offered to this sacred Agni. It is believed that Agni carries the offerings (Havis) to the respective deities. Hence Agni is called Havyavaahana or the vehicle of Havis. The word Veda, which arises from the root `Vid' (which means `to know') means consciousness or Prajnaa. The being in which this consciousness has manifested completely is called Jaataveda.
The one who knows everything is called Jaataveda. Veda also means Shastra or scripture. Shastra means to command or order. Vedas are called `Prabhusammita' because they list the eternal commands of the great being, Parabrahman. All religious rules and regulations have their roots in the Vedas. The Vedas have Yagna (fire-sacrifice) as their very foundation. Yagna is possible only through Agni. Thus Agni or Yagna Purusha is called Shastra yoni or the origin for all scriptural injunctions. That great being who makes the execution of the Vedic duties possible is called Jaataveda. Vedas assign karma (action) and Karma-phala (the resulting fruit). Men perform Yagna for obtaining its lucrative Phala. This phala is compared to money or gold. The lord through the agency of Agni grants the fruits of one's actions. Thus, Jaataveda is that great being who grants the fruits of the karma committed, as per the regulations revealed in the Vedas. Thus the word Jaataveda has all these meanings. This great Jaataveda Agni is frequently referred to as Yagna Narayana, because the scriptures assign the authority over Yagnas to Lord Vishnu. If one has to invite Sri Lakshmi, it can be possible only by requesting her divine consort, Narayana, referred here as Jaataveda Agni. This claim is supported by the Sruti, ` Yajno vai VishnuH' (Taittareeya Samhita - 1 , 7, 4). Similarly Yagna Purusha is also seen as Lord Rudra, `Agnistu Rudra Eva'. His wife Uma indeed is the Shree whose grace is sought in this verse.
`Lakshmi' means the one who has a mark or a sign. Yaaskara Nirukta says, `Lakshmi represents all those signs of happiness and welfare that a man desires'. The word Lakshmi arises out of the dhatu `Lash' which means `to obtain'. Thus Lakshmi means to obtain the signs of happiness like wealth, prosperity and knowledge, which she represents by her very nature. Poetic hearts have always identified Lakshmi with the lotus flower. The Dhyana Shloka (meditation verse) of Sri Mahalakshmi describes her like this, ` Amala kamala Samsthaa' - Residing in a white stainless lotus. She holds lotuses in her hands and sports a garland of lotuses. The mandala used to worship Sridevi is also called Padma mandala. The reference here is actually to the six yogic Chakras in the human body. The goddess Shree, as the great Kundalini Shakti, resides in these lotuses.
The word `Lakshmi' can also be derived from the roots `La' which means `to give' and `Kship' which means `to inspire'. Thus Lakshmi means the one who gives us the wealth of knowledge that inspires us to achieve the highest state of realization of the Self. `Ma Aavaha' - this means `please send her to me' or `invite her to me'. This request goes to Agni, who is actually none other than Sri Narayana. Only the great Lord has the capacity to grant eternal wealth of the knowledge of Self, called Shree. In an other sense, by performing Vedic sacrifices, one seeks to draw the attention of Lakshmi.
Hiranya means gold. It literally means `to shine' or `to steal'. Gold steals the hearts of men by virtue of its luster and worth. Gold is named as the king of all metals. Other minerals are called `Parthiva' (of the nature of earth) whereas gold is called `Taijasa' (of the nature of light or fire). Hence gold is undoubtedly superior to all other metals. Similarly, Sridevi shines brightly amidst all other Gods and Goddesses, who appear dim in front of her. This speaks of the Vimarsha aspect of Sridevi, which is the sole cause for the appearance of this universe. When everything shines because of her own light, how can anything brighter than Her Exist? Also because she is the Shakti of Agni or Vishnu, it is but natural for her to have a golden luster.
Harini in a literal sense means a female deer. It is seen in the Puranas that Lakshmi once came to earth assuming the form of a female deer. Deer also signifies attraction and beauty, both of which are the inherent qualities of Sridevi. However, a deer is extremely fast and to catch hold of it requires great strength and determination. Similarly to achieve wealth one needs to work hard and overcome the effects of past Karmas. On a higher level, one can achieve the knowledge of the Self, which is the greatest of the treasures, only by constant Sadhana and contemplation on the self. The Brahma Vaivarta Purana speaks of the incident of the destruction of Daksha's Yagna by Shiva. Seeing the terrible Mahakala form of Shiva, Yagna Purusha assumed the form of a deer and began to run. However Rudra, within no time caught hold of the deer in his palms. Yagna Purusha is the Nirguna Parabrahman, which indicates Vishnu. The form of the deer that he assumed refers of his Vaishnavi Shakti, which is Lakshmi. Also. Mahabharata calls Vishnu by the name `Harina' (13,17,119). His eternal consort Lakshmi thus becomes Harini. Sridevi is also called Harini because she has a golden yellow luster. Devi is referred to as `Haridraabhaa' (having a turmeric like complexion) in various Puranas and tantras. Bhagavata Purana even speaks of the Haridraa Gauri vrata where Sridevi is worshipped in an image made of turmeric. This association of Sridevi with turmeric also earns her the name `Harini'.
Sridevi is described as Suvarnarajatasrajaam'. `Sraja' means a garland or a necklace. The goddess is wearing a necklace made of gold and silver. Now, we said before that Sridevi wears a garland of lotuses, so shouldn't this sound contradictory. No! Because a tender lotus has a natural golden glow as well as a silvery tinge of white. Thus, this again may mean a garland of lotuses itself. Thus the goddess is bedecked with valuables, both natural and man-made. Thus, Sridevi is the Adya Shakti who is at the helm of all affairs, concerning both the animate creation as well as the inanimate forces of nature. Here Suvarna represents the vowels and Rajata represents the consonants. Thus the goddess wears a Matrika Mala, the garland of letters. Now, the entire creation, according to Shabda Vaada, arises out of sound. Thus, Sridevi is the MahaYoni from which the universe takes birth. She is also the origin and essence of all mantras, which are but permutations and combinations of these Matrika letters. `Chandraam' - The word `Chandra' originates from the root `chadi'. This means to cause freshness or happiness (Aahlaada) or to shine. Because Sridevi shines like the moon, she is called Chandraa. In the same way as the moon causes delight to one and all, Sridevi also brings tremendous delight to all those who see her from in their inner hearts. The physical moon causes delight to the physical eyes whereas Sridevi brings immense pleasure to the inner-eyes.
Moon always forms a prominent ornament in most forms of Sridevi. The Tithi Nityaa worship in Srichakra follows the pattern of Chandra Kalaa or the lunar digits. Srividya is referred to as Chadra Vidya or Chandrakalaa Vidya in various scriptures. Also, one form of Srividya is known to have Chandra as its Rishi (seer). The Ayushkara Prayoga of the Kalpasutras prescribes meditation on Sridevi in the lunar disc.
`HiraNmayiim' - Hiranya means gold. Much has been told about this already. By adding to this root, a pratyaya called `mayat', we obtain the word `Hiranmayi'. This pratyaya gives the word two meanings by the way of Praachuryaartha and Vikaaraartha. Since Sridevi has similar qualities as that of the gold, she is seen as Hiranyaswaroopini. This is the Praachuryaartha. Also because Sridevi is having a golden complexion, she seems to be made of gold i.e. Hiranyavigrahaa. This is the Vikaaraartha. Hiranya also means `sacred' (pavitram vai hiranyam). That is, the great goddess who is free from all limitations and boundaries of name, form and space, transforms herself so as to become the efficient cause of this universe. Though she is without a form, she assumes multitudes of forms and shines in the hearts of the devoted, with a golden luster. She is thus referred to as Hiranmayii. This transformation (PariNaama) is indicated by Hiranya, which has to undergo a lot of processing before it obtains its luster and brightness. Shiva is called Hiranyaretasa. Here, Hiranya means Prakriti or nature and Shiva is indicated to be its very seed. Kaalikaa Purana calls that power of Hiranyaretas Paramashiva), which is responsible for creation-destruction-preservation of the worlds as Hiranmayee.
The viniyoga or the ritualistic application of this mantra has three forms: Adibhautika, Adidaivika and Aadhyaatmika. These three refer to fire-god, sun & moon and the Self as the respective deities of the three Viniyogas. The first involves using the mantra with a `swaahaa' added at the end and offering ghee into sacrificial fire. The second involves meditating on Sridevi in the lunar disc. The third involves worshipping the goddess, as one's own self with Praanaagnihotra.
Maharshi Agastya describes thus, `The intellect in the mind, the light in the sun, the shine in the moon, the luster in the gold, the butter in milk, all these are forms of Sri Mahalakshmi'. The meditation verse for this mantra is as follows:
kaantyaa kaa~nchanasannibhaaM himagiriprakhyairshchaturbhirgajaiH
hastotkShiptahiraNmayaamR^itaghaTairaasichyamaanaaM shriyam |
naanaaratnasamujwalaaM karalasatpadmaM kiriiTojwalaam
kShaumaabaddhanitambabimbalasitaaM vande.aravindasthitaam ||
The second verse:
taaM ma\_ aa va\`ha jaatavedo la\_kShmiimana\`pagaa\_minii\`m |
yasyaa\_~M hira\`NyaM vi\_ndeyaM\_ gaamashwaM\_ puru\`Shaana\_haM ||
O Jaataveda, invoke that Lakshmi (to/in me) who is Anapagaamini (stable), blessed by whom, I shall obtain gold, cows, horses and men.
`Jaataveda, taam lakshmiim me aavaha', these words are similar to what we see in the previous mantra. However, here Sridevi is given an additional adjective, Anapagaamini'. This refers to Lakshmi who shall stably reside in the Sadhaka without deserting him for another person. Gold represents Sthaavara (immovable or inanimate) wealth whereas cows, horses and men represent Jangama (movable or animate) wealth. By Sridevi's grace, one obtains both these forms of wealth. The men that this mantra speaks of, include children, friends, servants and family (putramitradaasabhootaan - Saayana Bhaashya). It is said in Raajyalakshmi Hridayam that the attendants or followers of Sridevi are cows, horses and elephants. Thus, it becomes evident that with Her arrival, the attendants also follow and reside forever in the Sadhaka. Cow represents Satva, horse rajas and elephant Tamas. Sridevi, attended by these three Gunas, is however beyond all the three, she is Trigunaateeta. Depending on his own quality, the Sadhaka sees Sridevi in one of these Guna forms. This mantra also has Jaataveda as its Rishi. The meter for this mantra is Anushtup. The presiding deity is Sri Rajyalakshmi. Her Dhyana Shloka is as follows:
chatura~NgabalopetaaM dhanadhaanyasukheshwariim |
ashwaaruuDhaamahaM vande raajyalakShmiiM hiraNmayiim ||
hemaabhaaM divyavastraaM mR^igamadatilakaaM padmavaktraamudaaraam |
shriilakShmiiM padmahastaaM natajanavaradaaM sarvabhuutyai namaamaH ||
The third verse:
a\_shwa\_puurvaaM ra\`thama\_dhyaaM ha\_stinaa\`dapra\_bodhi\`niim |
shriyaM\` de\_viimupa\`hwaye\_ shriirmaa\` de\_vii ju\`Shataam ||
I invoke Shri Lakshmi, who has a line of horses in her front, a series of chariots in the middle, who is being awakened by the trumpeting of elephants, who is divinely resplendent. May that goddess, who is the Mother, grace me with her presence.
This mantra presents the picture of the joyous arrival of Sridevi to the Sadhaka. A line of horses leads her procession. Then follows her beautiful chariot. Behind Her, one sees a herd of elephants, loudly making a trumpet-like noise. Or this means that Sridevi is arriving in a chariot driven by horses. In the previous two verses, the Sadhaka requested Jaataveda to bring Sridevi to him. As a result of his prayers, Lakshmi is being brought to the Sadhaka, as described in this Rik. Knowing that Sridevi is approaching him, the Sadhaka further requests her to come directly to him. The word `Upahwaye' means inviting Sridevi to come near oneself.
Further, `devii maa jushataam' means `may the great goddess come to me or near me'. Here the word `Maa' may not be looked upon as just the Chaandasa Prayoga of the word `Maam', which means `my'. It also means `mother'. The Sadhaka has to find some relation to associate himself with Sridevi, who is now going to stay with him forever. Since She is the source of the entire creation (Jagadyoni), it is but natural for a being to recognize her as his mother. The horses, which lead Sridevi's procession, represent the senses (Indriyas) of man (Indriyaani hayaan aahuH). Ratha (chariot) is the body of the Sadhaka (shariiram rathameva tu). The presence of Sridevi in the chariot indicates her residence in the center of one's heart or in the center of one's very being. Thus, she is recognized here as one's very self. Speaking in terms of Yoga, the noise of the elephant indicates the awakening of Kundalini. Many Yogis experience this noise with the awakening and ascent of Kundalini Shakti.
`Sri' means `Shrayaniiyaa' - one in whom ever one seeks refuge. The word `Devi' arises from the dhatu `div' which means `to shine' or `to play'. Because of Her shining presence in the Sadhaka, he becomes aware of anything and everything. Even the basic awareness of `Aham' (I) and `Idam' (this) is because of her presence as the Vimarsha Shakti. The entire world is her play or Leelaa, as said in the Brahma sutras (Lokavattu leelaa kaivalyam). Thus she is rightly called `Devi'. She is called Sridevi also because she is ever immersed in a cosmic play along with Vishnu, who is represented by the word Sri, meaning auspiciousness. She is thus the Moola Prakriti or the primal nature, never separate from the Purusha.
The Rishi of this Rik is Ananda, and the metre is Anushtup. The presiding deity is Sri Lakshmi. `U' is the Bija, `ta' is the Shakti and `Shriim' is the Kilaka. The Dhyana Shloka is as follows:
darasmeraadhiiraaM karakalitapadmaaM dwinayanaaM |
lasadgriivaaM kShaumaa~Mshukavishadanaabhii sarasijaam
bhajaami tvaaM deviiM praNatajanasaubhaagyajananiim ||
The fourth mantra:
kaa~M so\_smi\_taaM hira\`Nyapraa\_kaaraaM\` aa\_rdraam jwala\`ntiiM tR^i\_ptaaM ta\_rpaya\`ntiim |
pa\_dme\_ sthi\_taaM pa\_dmavarNaa\`m taa~M i\_hopa\` hwaye\_ shriya\`m ||
I invite that Lakshmi to me who is of the form of the supreme Brahman, who has a smiling face, who has a golden luster, who is compassionate, who is burning-bright, who is ever satisfied and satisfying, who is residing in the lotus and who has a lotus-like ruddy complexion.
`Kaam' is a name of the supreme Brahman (ka iti brahmaNo naama). The identity of Sridevi with Parabrahman, which was hinted at in the previous mantras, is explicitly declared here. By calling her Brahman, she is described as beyond the reach of thoughts and words (vaangmanaso ragocharaa). She is also understood be having `Durniruupa swaroopaa'- it is impossible to comprehend or illustrate her true form by words or description. Here, a syllable of the sacred Srividya Mahamantra is encoded.
The word `Sosmitaa' may be broken into three as follows, `Sa - U - smitaam'. `Sa' means `with'. `U' represents flow. `Smita' means smile. Thus Sridevi is described as having a smile from which a beatific smile flows out into the hearts of the Sadhaka, filling him with indescribable joy. The normal laugh of the living beings is said to be `Praakrita' or incidental. Depending on circumstances, it varies. It may be a smile, guffaw or laughter. However, the smile of Sridevi is the mark of the bliss or Ananda aspect of the Brahman. This is eternal and transcendent. This smile holds in itself, the grace of the Brahman, responsible for the appearance of the entire visible universe. These two words `Kaam sosmitaam' have to be read together to comprehend the above meaning.
`Hiranya praakaaraam' - Praakaara is the Chaandasa Prayoga of Prakara, which means type or variety. Thus, this may indicate type, color, form or shape. In this sense, Sridevi has a beautiful form or complexion that is comparable to Hiranya or gold. Praakaara also means a wall, fortress or an enclosure. It indicates a protective covering that is used to safeguard something very precious. This means that Sridevi resides within a fortress of gold. Until one crosses over the boundaries of lust, greed and temptation, represented by the golden fortress, by eliminating their very cause, which is duality, one attains Sridevi. Ishavasyopanishat says that the form of Brahman is hidden by a covering of gold (Hiranmayena patrena satyasyaapi hitam mukham).
`Aardraa' means wet, and this further hints at the qualities of being in contact with water (Klinnaa) and coolness (Shiitala). However, this word is frequently used to indicate compassion. Thus, by calling her Aardra, Sridevi is declared to be compassionate. Acharya has described Sridevi as the very personification of compassion in various hymns. Also, some commentators point out that this word indicates the birth of Lakshmi from the ocean of milk (Ksheera Saagara). Aardraa is also the name of a Nakshatra or a star. It is seen in the Smriti that the birth star of Sri Lakshmi is Aardra, which incidentally happens to be the favorite star of Lord Shiva too. The wetness spoken here also indicates the state of Kundalini Shakti soaked in Kulamrita, as described in the Rudrayamala (Amritaardraam kuliinaam taam kundaliim samupaasmahe).
The word `Jwalanti' is used to indicate that Sridevi is bright as the fire. She is the Moola Prakriti shining in the hearts of all creatures. Sincere Sadhakas behold her vision inside, just as one sees the bright sun on the outside. It is her brightness (Prakasha) that makes everything else visible and existent (Tasya Bhaasaa sarvamidam vibhaati). Also, Sridevi is completely satisfied (Triptaa) and hence, she satisfies all other beings (Tarpayantii). Sridevi is thus the supreme Brahman who is described to be Nityatripta (ever satisfied). Sridevi satisfies all beings by granting their worldly requests, and finally grants them liberation, by granting them the greatest treasure of Atma Jnana (the knowledge of the self). Most descriptions of Sri Lakshmi picture her as seated on a lotus. Her crystal clear form also appears to be of the same color as the lotus, due to reflection. She is the eternal Parabrahman free from all Gunas or qualities. However, she acquires various attributes or Gunas and appears as the Saguna Brahman to shower her grace on the less evolved devotees, incapable of grasping the mighty truth of Nirguna Brahman. The scriptures recommend worship of Sridevi with lotus flower because it represents purity, prosperity and beauty. All these are also the qualities of Sridevi. Hence Lakshmi is seen as being non-different from the lotus. Her residence is in the lotus hearts of the sincere and the devoted.
The main aim of this mantra is to establish Sridevi as being non-different from Parabrahman. Only when all senses and thoughts are clamed down by achieving a state of total satisfaction, does the light of Brahman reveal itself, as one's own self. This state of complete satisfaction can be achieved only by Sridevi's grace. The words `Ardra' (wet) and `Jwalanti' (burning) are contradictory according to the law of nature. What is wet cannot be burning. However, Sridevi is beyond the limitations of nature since Prakriti (as seen by the Sankhya theory) happens to be just an aspect or a part of hers. She is above the Tatvas of Prakriti and Purusha. She is the transcendent Sadakhya Tatva. Due to her compassion towards her children, grace flows out spontaneously from her, into the hearts of the Sadhaka. This lights up his entire being with the effulgence of the supreme Brahman. The Rishi of Rik is Ananda and the metre is Brihati.
The presiding deity is Srilakshmi. The Bija is `Kaam', `Hriim' is the Shakti and `Shriim' is the Kilaka. The meditation verse is as follows:
varadaabhayashukapustakakarakalitaaM kamalamadhyagaaM kalaye |
kamalaaM samsmitavadanaaM kanakaavaraNasthitaaM kaa~nchit ||
The fifth mantra:
cha\_ndraaM pra\`bhaa\_saaM ya\_shasaa\_ jwala\`ntii\_m shriyam\` lo\_ke de\_vaju\`ShTaamudaa\_raam |
taaM pa\_dmane\`miiM\_ shara\`Na\_mahaM prapa\`dye ala\_kSmiirme\` nashyataaM\_ tvaaM vR^i\`Ne ||
I seek refuge in Sri Lakshmi, who is beautiful like the moon, who shines brightly in the world due to her fame, who is pleased with the Gods, who is generous and who is surrounded by lotus flowers. I seek you (Lakshmi) to get rid of my misfortune.
Chandra (moon) happens to be just a part of Sridevi. When Lakshmi came out of the milky ocean, a single ray of her beauty gave rise to the moon. Since the moon was born out of the milky ocean too, he is seen as Sridevi's brother earning her the title `Chandrasahodari'. `Prabhaasa' means to shine better and brighter. Since Sridevi is said to have the brightness of crores of moons (Kotichandraprakashe), this adjective becomes appropriate.
`Yashasaa jwalantiim' - she is known to every one due to her great fame. As we said before, she is called `Sri' because she is everyone's refuge. There is no one who does not know her. Even the ignorant know her as `I' or `Aham'. The same meaning is brought out in the name `Aabaalagopa viditaa' in Sri Lalita Sahasranama. Her fame is due to her qualities of Aishwarya (authority over the entire universe), Sampat (the power to fulfill all desires like wealth, health and salvation) and Audarya (generosity, that makes her easily accessible to the devotees). These are the qualities that attract devotees to her.
`Loke shriyam' - she is the great `Sri', the refuge of all creatures in the fourteen worlds. All creatures desire her. She is the hope, help, and happiness of the world. she is the Praapya (the goal), Praapaka (the aspirant who attains the goal) and also the means to achieve the desired goal. She is both Siddhi and Sadhana. Loka here also means Prakriti mandala. This constitutes of the three Gunas and twenty-four Tatvas, which are emanations from the Moola Prakriti or Sri. Because these are devoid of consciousness, they are not self-acting and depend on Sridevi completely. Their existence and activity is purely by the will of Sridevi. This great Moola Prakriti, responsible for the entire Prakriti mandala, that constitutes of the visual world or Loka is hereby identified as being none other than Sridevi.
`Devajushtaam' - Sridevi is described as being pleased with Indra, Vishnu, Rudra and other gods. Actually, she is pleased with all those, who reside in a state, predominated by Satva Guna. When Sridevi appeared from the milky ocean, all the Gods praised her with melodious hymns and offered their services to her. She was pleased with their devotion and granted them, all their desires. `Jushtaa' also means `with or `to combine with'. As soon as Sridevi materialized from the milky ocean, she entered the heart of the great Lord Narayana. This also earns her the title of Devajushtaa (Devena HariNaa jushtaa - Sri Guna ratna Kosha). The great Shakti Kundalini is in a state of slumber in the great ocean of milk called the Ksheera Sagara. After one gets over the poison of Halahala called duality, individuality is lost completely in universal consciousness. Once awakened by Gharshana (indicated by the Manthana of the milky ocean), she can wait no more to unite with her Lord, Paramashiva. The much-desired nectar is the boon of this eternal union of Shiva and Shakti. She is ever with her lord Parabrahman (Jushtaa), as his inseparable chit Shakti.
Another adjective used in this context is, `Udaaraa', indicating the unparalleled generosity of Sridevi. This word has several meanings like Pragalbha (of infinite greatness) and Vistaara (spreading everywhere). One may consider these qualities as being related to the fame of Sridevi that we spoke of earlier. They may also be considered as separate adjectives. The worship offered to any God or goddess, eventually reaches the Parabrahman or Sridevi. There is no restriction on her generosity towards them just because they worship other deities. It is through her powers, that the other deities grant boons to their own devotees, just as the moon reflects the Sun's light. The other deities, like the moon, appear to be self-luminous because of Sridevi. This further speaks of her generosity. `Padmanemi' - `Padma', although primarily means lotus, it also stands for `Prapancha' or the universe. Since Sridevi regulates (Niyama) the activities of the universe, which is nothing but a projection from her very own self, she is called Padmanemi. `Nemi' also means `to be surrounded'.
Sridevi is picturised as being surrounded by lotuses. Lotus signifies beauty, prosperity, purity and abundance, according to Lakshmi Rahasya Tantra. With Sridevi as the center of origin, all these qualities, like rays of light, spread everywhere, bringing the light of happiness and knowledge to the otherwise dark and gloomy world. she is said to be `Padmanabhi' or one with the lotus-navel. This is because the navel, according to yoga Shastra, is the place from which most important Nadis emanate. These nadis are circuits of Pranic energy. All important manipulations occur at the Nabhi Chakra, which is also the seat of energy storage. When guru performs Shambhava or Pragalbha Mahavedha on the disciple, Kundalini Shakti suddenly appears as Sridevi in the Manipooraka of the Sadhaka. The aspirant is by now prepared for this by performing certain Kriyas and Shushka Japa. He need not bother to awaken Kundalini from Moolaadhaara as in the case of Kaulas. The purity and the predominance of Satva Guna in the path of Samayachara allows one to completely transgress the lower two Chakras of the nature of tamas. However, due to the difficulty in achieving a state of total Satva, one discovers his consciousness, personified by Kundalini, in the Rajasic Chakra of Manipooraka. The advantage here is that one hardly needs to bother of all the dangers one faces while crossing the crucial Chakra of Swadhishthana, for which a complete balance is required. Most kaulikas following Vamachara get stuck in this Chakra and are forever thrown into the cycle of birth and death.
Ascent of the ladder of Guna is gradual and is very difficult for Sadhakas of Tamo Guna. It is pure bullshit when people claim that one could transcend all the Gunas by an excess of rajas or tamas. This practically does not happen. When one raises himself from Tamas to Rajas, he still has traces of Tamas. This tamas is lost only when the Sadhaka further rises to the level of Satva. But he now has traces of rajas. The state of Satva is the final state of exit into the attributeless, Nirguna Mahat. It is impossible to immediately rise to the levels of Satva from Tamas without a gradual ascent. Most followers of Vamachara who quote examples of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and other such great personalities, actually have their claim working against themselves. These great men were already established firmly in the realms of the Brahman, and all they did externally was simple child's play. They were already established in a state where the distinction of Samayachara and Vamachara mattered no longer.
Some commentators read `Padmanemiim' as `Padminiim iim'. Padmini means a lotus-pond. It also directly signifies a lotus. With no distinction whatsoever between Sridevi and the lotus, she is also called Padmini. Padma means the world an Padmini refers to its stalk (Padminii Padmalateva ). Sridevi, who is the Moola Prakriti is the stalk or the support of the universe. `Iim' is the great Bija mantra of Sridevi. This further confirms the association of this Sukta with Srividya. As said before, each mantra of the Sukta encodes a syllable of Srividya. I will not talk about this topic though, and those interested may refer to works such as Sri Guna Ratna Kosha and Saubhagya Lakshmi Kalpa.
The word `Taam' may simply mean `that' Padmanemi. However it can also be viewed as a separate adjective. Kamadhenu Tantra describes the letter `Ta' as Parashakti or Kundalini. It is also seen as the combined power of Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra (Varnoddhaara Tantra). It also signifies the Iccha or will of the goddess, responsible for the creation of the visible universe.
`sharanamaham Prapadye' - one prays for refuge in Sridevi, for getting rid of one's misfortune, which is caused mainly because of Avidya. This is also a prayer addressed to Sridevi, requesting her protection. Sayanacharya and Prithvidharacharya have objected to the usage of the word `Aham' in this context, though it has come down traditionally over the ages.
`alakshmiirme nashyataam tvaam vriNe, - what is not Lakshmi is Alakshmi. If Sridevi signifies beauty, prosperity and generosity, Alakshmi signifies ugliness, lack and greed. The Puranas have personified Alakshmi as a deity called Jyeshtaa. It is said that Jyeshta Devi came out of the milky ocean before Lakshmi as in hence regarded as her elder sister. It is also said that she was followed by Halahala poison. As soon as she emerged out, she wedded Kali (the personification of kali yuga), who signifies all that is nasty and bad. She is thus called Kalivallabhe (Padma purana). Some identify Dhoomavathi, a mahavidya goddess with Jyeshta, but what one needs to observe is that Dhumavathi is a widow whereas Jyeshta is wedded to Kali Purusha. Alakshmi cannot reside in a place where there is presence of Sridevi. Thus, the Sadhaka here takes refuge in the lotus feet of Sridevi, to get rid of his Alakshmi. Seeing the competition between Lakshmi and Alakshmi, he has chosen Lakshmi among the two. The word `VriNe' indicates this choice or VaraNa. Alakshmi is nothing but the qualities of kali that are embedded in the dark chambers of human mind. Laziness, lust, greed, quarrelsome nature, cruelty, dyoota, Paana (taking to liquor), Maamsa Bhakshana (eating meat) are all said to be qualities of a person, that invite Jyeshta Lakshmi to oneself (Mahalakshmi Ratna Kosha). The usage of the word `Varana' is made to advice the Sadhaka to give up these qualities, to achieve Lakshmi.
The seer of this mantra is Ananda, Chandas is Trishtup and the presiding deity is Sarvaishwarya Pradaayini Mahalakshmi. `Cham' is the Bija, `Nam' is the Shakti and `Shriim' is the Kilaka. The meditation verse is as follows:
tejomaNDalamadyagaa~M dwinayanaaM divyaambaraala~NkR^itaam
deviiM padmavaraabhayaaM karatalaiShchintaamaNiM bibhratiim |
naanaa divyavibhuuShaNaaM cha bhajataaM daurbhaagyasamhaariNiim
naanaabhiiShTavarapradaananirataaM vande paraaM devataam ||
The sixth mantra:
aa\_di\_tyava\`rNe\_ tapa\_so.adhi\`jaa\_to vana\_spati\_stava\` vR^i\_kSho.atha bi\_lvaH |
tasya\_ phalaani\_ tapa\_saa nu\`dantu maa yaanta\`raaa\_ yaashcha\` baa\_hyaa a\`lakShmiiH ||
O great mother who shines like the Sun, because of the power and glory of your penance, the Bilva tree has grown up. By your grace, in the form of the fruit of the Bilva tree, may all misfortunes and inauspiciousness residing in my interior and exterior perish!
Aditya Varne - Aditya is the name of Sri Surya, the sun of Aditi. His Varna or color is of the nature of pure brightness. Thus, it is described that Sridevi shines brightly like the sun. Sridevi is described as having the complexion of the rising sun (Tarunaarunavadarunavarne 22/3 Saubhagya Sanjivanam). Here, venerable commentators have pointed out that the Bala Mahatripurasundari form of Sridevi is symbolically indicated (tanumadhyaam mahaalakshmiim baalaam tripurasundariim). This adjective is variously seen to derive a Bija of Srividya and also the Pancha Pranavas of Srividya. These can be easily derived following some simple sutras. However, this has to be learnt from one's Guru directly.
Tava tapasodhijaataH vanaspatiH bilvaH - Here there are references to penance performed by Lakshmi. The word `Tapas' arises from the root `tap' which means to burn. Thus Tapas is something, which causes physical difficulty (vividha klesha janakam karma). Taps, according to Ratna Kosha means Brahma Sankalpa. According to Yogini Tantra (1,5), Vishnu had two wives Saraswati and Lakshmi. Vishnu was more attentive towards Saraswati and this greatly bothered Lakshmi. She went to SriShaila and performed a severe penance to please Lord Mahadeva. Pleased by her austerities, Lord Shiva granted her a place in Sri Vishnu's heart. A Bilva tree grew in the place where Sridevi performed her penance. This tree became a favorite of both Sri Lakshmi and Lord Mahadeva. According to Vaamana Purana, Sridevi performed a severe penance for the welfare of the entire universe, in Kanchipuram, on the banks of river Neelaa. A Bilva tree sprouted from her right hand in that place.
According to Brihaddharma Purana, Lakshmi performed penance to please Lord Shiva in Kapaaalamochana Kshetra. Pleased with her, Lord granted her, his favorite Bilva tree.
According to Agni Purana, when Sridevi was roaming in the form of Kaamadhenu, the celestial cow, Bilva tree grew on the dung that fell from her, in Kolhapura. Skaanda Purana, Kalika Purana and Brahmanda Purana also speak of Lakshmi's penance in a forest of Bilva trees. Since Lakshmi resides in the Bilva tree, its fruit is called `Shriphala' and `Lakshmiphala'. Just as Sri Parvati resides in tulasi, Sri Saraswati in gooseberry tree, Sri Lakshmi is said to reside in Bilva tree. Bilva leaf consists of three Dalas (petals or leaves), which represent Brahman, Vishnu and Rudra and its stalk represents Adi Shakti (Jnaanabhairava Tantra 6th Patala). It is also believed that Bilva tree took its birth on the third day of Shulka Paksha in the month of Vaishakha. This day is celebrated as Bilva Jayanti.
In this Rik, Bilva is referred to as `Vanaspati'. Vanaspati means a tree without flowers, but having fruits (ApuShpaaH phalavantaH). Bilva is also called a Vanaspati because of its medicinal properties. Its power to cure various diseases is also attributed to the penance of Lakshmi. It is also used in Tantric alchemy and in Kayakalpa.
Tapasaa tasya phalaani maa yaa antaraa yaaH baahyaaH cha alakshmiiH nudantu - The useage of the word `Tapas' for the second time indicates Anugraha (grace) rather than penance here. Or, it may also mean worship or Upasana. It is wished here that the Bilva fruits, sanctified by having been offered Sridevi by means of Pooja, shall eliminate one's misfortune (Sri Sukta Bhashya). We have already analyzed the word `Alakshmi'. Here two types of Alakshmi, internal and external, are spoken of. Internal Alakshmi refers to ego, ignorance, greed, lust and other undesirable qualities. External Alakshmi refers to sinful activities, lack of cleanliness, laziness, disease, poverty and performing actions banned by the Vedas. Thus, one prays to Sridevi to eliminate one's Alakshmi by showering Her infinite grace. Here, the word `Maa' is taken to mean `Maam' (me) or mayi (in me). Sridevi is requested to eliminate AshriiH, present in the Sadhaka.
An alternative is to split the sentence as: `maayaa antaraayaaH cha baahyaaH alakshmiiH'. Here Maya refers to Ajnana (ignorance) or duality (Dvaita). The word AntaraayaaH speaks of all the banes that result from ignorance and duality. Thus, we request Sridevi to throw these out (Baahya) from us.
The seer of this mantra is Ananda, Chandas is Trishthubh and Deity is Sri Mahalakshmi. `Aam' is the Bija, `Shriim' is the Shakti and `Hriim' is the Kilaka. The Dhyana Shloka is as follows:
udyadaadityasa~NkaashaaM bilvakaanana madhyagaam |
tanumadhyaaM mahaabaalaaM dhyaayedalakShmiiparihaariNiim ||
The seventh mantra:
upai\`tu maaM de\`vasakhaH kii\_rtishcha\` maNi\`naa sa\_ha |
praa\_du\_rbhuu\_to.asmi\` raaShTre\_.asmin kii\_rtimR^i\`ddhiM da\_daatu\` me ||
O mother! I have originated in this kingdom. May fame and the friend of Deva (Kubera) join me with ornament by their company, may I be given fame and abundance.
DevasakaH - This literally means the god's friend. This actually refers to Kubera, the Lord of wealth, who is said to be a friend of Lord Mahadeva (devashabdo mahaadeve rooDhaH kuberaH tryambakasakhaH - Aandavallee Vyaakhyaa). Kubera was born as the son of Vishravas and Ilavila. He pleased Lord Shiva by severe austerities and by his grace, became the Lord of riches. Mahadeva, pleased with Satvic nature, made him the head of the northern quarter and bestowed respect to him by calling him his friend (Eeshaanasamhita). Following the orders of Sri Mahadeva, Lakshmi agreed to reside forever with Kubera. By inviting Kubera, one is actually looking at his riches, Satvic qualities and the Navanidhis (nine great treasures). One cannot hope to achieve these riches without the grace of Sridevi. Now, since we have already invited Sridevi and obtained her grace, we are ready to invite the riches that accompany Sridevi. It is also said in Eeshaanasamhita that Kubera holds the authority to grant Lakshmi to the deserving and the devoted. Hence, one requests for his grace.
`Kiirti' here refers to a goddess who is the presiding deity of fame and popularity. It is by her grace that one performs deeds that earn great name and fame (kiirthyabhimaaninii tadaakhyaa yashobhimani devataa). She is said to be the daughter of Daksha Prajapati and wife of Yama. She is also regarded as one among the Parivara Devis of Sridevi. Her accomplices are Mati (intellect), Dyuti (brightness), Pushti (nutrition), Samriddhi (prosperity), Tushti (bliss arising out of satisfaction), Aarogya (health), Jayaa (victory), Shraddhaa (devotion).
Maninaa Saha - Mani refers to an ornament wearing which, one gets rid of sins and misfortune (DhaaraNaat paapaallaksmii vinaashakam - Raajvallabha). Here the reference is actually to Chintamani, the wish-fulfilling gem. It also came out of the milky ocean, along with Sri Lakshmi and is regarded as her Amsha (part). Also, Kamadhenu (the celestial cow), Kalpavriksha (the celestial tree), Sudhaa (nectar), Iravata (celestial elephant), Ucchaihshravas (the celestial horse), Apsaras (the divine damsels), Kaustubha (the ornament decorating the chest of Narayana) and Chandra- all these are also said to be Amshas of Sridevi (Saurasamhita). The word `Mani' assumes more significance, when seen along with the word `Devasakha'. Kuberea is the Lord of a class of semi-divine beings called the Yakshas. Manibhadra is a Yaksha, who is said to be the minister of Kubera, who protects the nine great treasures. He is also believed to be the protector of tourists. Mahabharata sees him as the Lord of forests and waterfalls. In olden days, people regularly prayed for his grace (tathaa no yaksharaaD adya maNibhadraH prasiidatu - Mahabharata 3,64,127).
Upaitu - Upa + Etu - This means `come near me' or `join me'. Since Kubera, Manibhadra and Kiirti are Parivara Devathas of Sridevi, they naturally command respect. Hence this special invitation. PraadurbhuutaH asmi Asmin raashTre - `I have originated, appeared or taken birth in this kingdom'. Kingdom may here mean earth. However, it refers to the Hiranyaloka, a plane of higher consciousness, obtainable solely by Sridevi's grace. By obtaining Sridevi's grace, the Sadhaka has got rid of all dualities and ignorance, and he now finds himself in a plane of higher consciousness. He sees this as a new birth. He is now in the kingdom of God or of Sridevi.
Some commentators have identified this as the Srinagara, the divine Loka of Sri Mahatripurasundari. One attains Hiranyaloka, after he is wet (Bhairavayamala). This wetness, one has to note, is due to Kulamrita, that flows as result of the union of Kundalini with Paramashiva.
Kiirtim riddhim dadaatu me : Kirti here means `fame'. Riddhi means Samriddhi or prosperity, the facility to enjoy all forms of luxuries. Riddhi also refers to Animaa and other Siddhis (RiddhiH AshtaishwaryasamriddhiH). Like Kirti, Riddhi is also a Parivara Devi of Sridevi, as is regarded as the wife of Kubera (Mahabharata and Harivamsha). Thus, this is a prayer to Sridevi to grant Siddhi, Samriddhi, Riddhi and Kiirti to men, who have taken birth on earth.
The seer of this mantra is Kubera, Chandas is Anushtup and deity is MaNimaalinii Mahalakshmi. `Um' is the Bija, `Mam' and `Bloom' are the Shakti and `Shriim' is the Kilaka. The Dhyana Shloka is as follows:
raajaraajeshwariiM lakShmiiM varadaaM maNimaaliniiM |
deviiM devapriyaaM kiirtiM vande kaamyaarthasiddhaye ||
The Eighth Rik:
kShutpi\`paa\_saama\`laaM jye\_ShThaaM a\`la\_kSmiiM naasha\`yaa\_myaha\`m |
abhuu\`ti\_masamR^iddhi\_M cha sarvaaM\_ nirNu\`da me\_ gR^ihaa\`t ||
I shall get rid of Jyeshta Lakshmi, the embodiment of all misfortunes and difficulties like thirst and hunger, by your grace. O mother! Drive out of my house, pain and poverty.
Jyeshta brings with her, hunger, thirst, poverty, ill health and bad thoughts. She is the elder sister of Sridevi because she came out of the milky ocean before Sridevi (ShriyaH praagutpannaa). She is described in the Padma Purana to be of an ugly, disgusting form. She emerged out of the milky ocean wearing a red dark sari and decorated with red flowers. She approached the Devas, who asked her to inhabit all those places, which were dirty, which were the places of residence of the wicked, which witnessed constant fights and which housed activities not acceptable by the scriptures. Sri Lakshmi extols control over the star Rohini, whereas Jyeshta presides over the star `Jyeshta'. People avoid performing any auspicious activities in this particular star.
Abhooti means Anaishwarya (poverty). This may also be seen as Asambhooti (defeat). Asamriddhi means `without progress or growth' (Vriddhi Raahitya - Prithwidhara Bhashya). The Sadhaka is praying to Sridevi to drive these out of his home.
The seer of this mantra is Sri Mahavishnu. The metre is Anushtip and deity is Sarvaishwaryakaarini Mahalakshmi. The Bija is `kshum', `ham' is the Shakti and `shriim' is the Kilaka. I have seen the traditional usage of the bijas `ram - hriim - shriim- hriim- ram' for purposes of Japa and Nyasa with regard to this mantra. The Dhyana Shloka is as follows:
daurbhaagyabhuudharavidaaraNa vajramiiDe |
rogaartighoramaNi mardana pakShiraajam
lakShmiipadadwayamanartha haraM sukhaarthii ||
khaDgaM savaatachakraM cha kamalaM varameva cha |
karaishchaturbhirbibhraaNaaM dhyaayet chandraananaaM shriyam ||
The ninth mantra:
gandha\`dwaa\_raaM du\`raadha\_rShaaM ni\_tyapu\`ShTaaM karii\_ShiNii\`m |
ii\_shwa\_riiM sarva\`bhuutaa\_naaM taami\_hopahwaye\_ shriya\`M ||
I shall invite (welcome) Sri Lakshmi who is as patient and forgiving as the earth, who is always prosperous, and who is the supreme mistress of all creatures.
Gandhadwaaraam duraadharshaam - The sense of smell (Gandha) is a characteristic of Prithvi Tatva or the earth element (ghraanagraahyo gunaH gandhaH ). Sri Lakshmi is like the door to this sense of smell and hence she is recognized to be none other than Prithvi or mother earth. Bhu is a form of Lakshmi. She is also worshipped as Vasudhaa Lakshmi or Vasundharaa. The special qualities of the earth are her forgiving nature, patience and equal love towards all creatures. To indicate that her patience is indestructible by anyone, the word `Duraadharshaa' is used (kenaapi dharshitum ashakyam). This also means that no creature can live without Prithvi or by acting against her (durdharsha = duHsaaham).
Yet another meaning is that the non-devoted can never obtain the grace of Sridevi. She can only be pleased by true devotion and not by any other method or forcefully. The same is indicated in the Rahasya Naama Saahasra in the name - Bhaktivashyaa. Nityapushtaam kariishiniim - Pushti means to obtain nutrition or to grow stronger and healthier. Earth is major source of Pushti for all living beings from time immemorial. She never runs out of her power to grant Pushti to all her children. Thus, Sridevi in her aspect as Bhoo Lakshmi, is Nityapushtaa. This also indicates the vegetation on earth (nityam sadaa sasyaadibhiH samriddhaam). Sridevi grants pushti to all by means of Sasya Sampat (vegetation). This aspect of Sridevi is also called `Shaakambhari'.
Kariisha means dry cow-dung (shushka gomaya). This is traditionally used in India not only to cook food, but also in Agni Karya. The resulting fire is called `Karishaagni'. Now since the earth (who is non but Sridevi) is main reason for the survival of all plants and hence the animals. Thus, Kariisha is an indirect product of the earth itself. Thus, She is called KariiShini. This actually means Gosamriddhi (abundance of cows and other domestic animals). It also indicates that Sridevi is the main force that regulates unrestricted performance of the Vedic duties. Thus, here we see two boons that are granted to us by Sridevi in the form of earth: Sasyasamriddhi and Pashusamriddhi.
It is well known that Sri Lakshmi resides in the hind portion of the cow. Hence, worship of cow is an easy way to obtain Sridevi's grace. Sarvabhootaanaam iishwarii - She is the queen or the head of all creatures. All creatures are born out of the earth, sustained by the earth and are destroyed into the earth finally. The responsibility of all Jivas is on Lord Narayana, who is here referred to as Ishwara. His consort, Sri Lakshmi, is rightly called Ishwari. Iha upahwaye - the Sadhaka invites and welcomes Sridevi to him, into his life and being.
This mantra illustrates the greatness of Prithvi, who is the Pratyaksha form of Sridevi. It is said in Srirahasya that the manifestations of Sri Lakshmi are many, the important being Bhoomi, Shree, Durga, Neelaa and Tulasi. Since Bhoomi possesses all the qualities of the other avataras, she is called Vibhootinaayikaa. The greatness of mother earth is indicated by a mantra in the MahaanaaraayaNiiya of the Taittariya Shaakhaa. The very first name of the Lalita Ashtottara also refers to Sridevi's incarnation as bhoomi (bhooroopa sakalaadhaaraayai namaH). Just as Surya and Agni are the Pratyaksha forms of Narayana (Sooryanarayana - Agninarayana) or Shiva, Bhoomi is the visible manifestation of Sridevi.
Some commentators have also explained this verse as being addressed to Agni or fire. All qualities that we attributed to bhoomi are also applicable to Agni. However, in the previous mantras we considered Agni in the masculine form as Jaataveda. Here we invoke Agni in a feminine form, which is the combination of both Agni and Shree. It is nothing but the Ardhanareeshwara Tatva that we see here. Thus, the deity invoked here is Shree+Agni = Shryagnee.
The seer of this Rik is Sri Mahavishnu and the Chandas is Anushtup. The presiding deity is Shyagnee or Sri Mahalakshmi. `gam' is the Bija, `hriim' is the Shakti and `shriim' is the Kilaka. The Dhyana Shloka is as follows:
kalpadroH paadamuule drutakanakanibhaaM chaarusi~Mhaasanasthaam
hastaiH padmau varadamabhayaM dhaarayantiiM cha maalaam |
naanaabhuuShaaM suveShaaM maNimakuTadharaaM divyagandhaanulepaaM
dhyaayetsampuurNakaamapradakarakamalaaM kambukaNThiiM hR^idabje ||
There is another Dhyana Shloka in the book Vaikhanasa Vidya, which seems to extol the meaning of this mantra in simple words:
govR^indaanugataaM dhyaatvaa surabhiM sasyamaaliniim |
pR^ithulaaM praaNinaamiishaaM durdharShaaM shriyamarchayet ||
The tenth mantra:
mana\`saH\_ kaama\_maakuu\`tiM vaa\_chaH sa\_tyama\`shiimahi.\ |
pa\_shuunaaM ruupa\`manna\_sya mayi\_ shriiH shra\`yataaM\_yashaH\` ||
May all my desires be accomplished by your grace. May truth be established in my speech. May I be granted Pashusamriddhi and Annasamriddhi. May wealth and fame reside in me!
manasaH kaamam - `Kaama' means desire. ManasaH kaaama means the desire of the mind. The fulfillment of this requires Sridevi's grace. Hence this prayer. This again encodes a Bija of Srividya. Aakootim - In Vedic literature, the meaning of this word is taken as `determination or mental resolve'. The Dhatu `kuu' has the meaning ` to decide or to be determined'. To this, the Upasarga `Aa' has been added, which means `from everywhere' (samantaat). Thus, the meaning of the complete word becomes: `to view or consider all details and then arrive at a decision or resolve the mind'. Thus, Kaama is desire and the mental resolve to achieve that desire or Kaama is aakooti (Sankalpa). Just as Kaama is personified as the son of Brahma, and the husband of Rati, aakooti is the daughter of Manu and Shataroopa and the wife of Prithushena (Atharvanaveda - 6,131,2). VaachaH Satyam - This means `Truth in words' (vaagindriyasya yaathaarthyam). The Sadhaka requests Sridevi to make him speak only truth. Not just this, but also grant him Nigrahaanugraha Saamarthya (the power to curse or grant boons). This is what is termed as Vaaksiddhi. When ones heart and mind are pure by complete adherence to truth, his spoken words are materialized into truth. Satyam not only means truth but is also the name of Brahman. Thus, the devotee is determined both by Vaak and manas (mind and speech) to obtain the supreme Brahman or Sridevi.
Pashoonaam ruupam annasya roopam : The term `Pashu' indicates all those animals that help one to carry one's Vedic duties righteously, like the cow, horse, buffalo, elephant etc. (Gajaashwagomahishyaadi). Here the word `Roopa' should not be taken as `form or appearance' but as `Praachurya' or `Baahulya' (abundance). The intention of the Sadhaka is to obtain abundant Pashu Sampat (wealth of the cattle).
`Anna' means food. This applies to the four varieties of eatables that are recognized by the scriptures: Bhakshya, Bhojya, Lehya and Choshya. This refers to Anna Samruddhi (abundance of food). Shrii yashaH mayi Shrayataam: `Shrii' is here meant to indicate `wealth'. This shrii includes in itself all the aforesaid virtues like kirti, Pashu sampat, Anna samruddhi etc. These will be undoubtedly obtained if one is able to obtain Sridevi's grace. `Yashas' signifies the fame that is obtained by performing Satkaryas (beneficial deeds). People with abundant wealth engage themselves continuously in Bhoga (enjoyment) and forget their duties. This earns them `Kukhyaati' (bad name or bad publicity). Thus, it is not sufficient if one achieves wealth, but should also obtain `Yashas', obtainable by strict adherence to Dharma. Thus, Sadhaka prays to Sridevi to grant both these (Grihe Sampat Chitte Dharmam). He hopes that by Sridevi's grace, these virtues will reside in him (tadupaasake mayi Aashrayataam).
It is also possible to group these words as follows: `Pashoonaam roopam' and `Annasya yashaH'. `Anna' indicates any material that is of the nature of Traigunya (three qualities) or Shaadgunya (six qualities). The three Gunas, as we know are, Satva, rajas and Tamas. The six qualities are Jnana (knowledge), Bala (strength), Aishwarya (prosperity or wealth), Viirya (valor), Shakti and Tejas (brilliance or brightness). Here, the word `Yashas' is read to give the meaning of `Vriddhi' (prosperity). It is to be noted that the Lakshmi Sahasranama (from Rudrayamala) has the name, `Annasya Yashase namaH'.
Thus, Vaaksdiddhi and Bhogasiddhi are the main fruits of this mantra. Its seer is Kaama, metre is Anushtup and deity is Bhogalakshmi. `Mam' is the Bija, `sham' is the Shakti and `shriim' is the Kilaka. Dhyana Shloka is as follows:
taaM dhyaayet satyasa~NkalpaaM lakSmiiM kShiirodanapriyaaM
khyaataaM sarveShu bhuteShu tatvaj~naanabalakriyaam |
kaantyaa kaa~nchanasannibhaaM dwinayanaaM kalhaaramaalaavatiim
kastuuriitilakaaM karaishcha kamale kaNThe cha muktaavaliim ||
sheShaasheShavisheShabhuuShaNarataaM sambibhratiiM kuNDalaam |
padmaakShiiM bhaja sarvadaabhilaShita praaptyai samR^iddhashriyai ||
The eleventh mantra:
karda\`me\_na pra\`jaabhuu\_taa ma\_yi sambhava\_ karda\`ma |
shriyaM\` vaa\_saya\` me ku\_le maa\_taraM\` padma\_maali\`niim ||
Lakshmi! You have progeny in Kardama. Hence, O Kardama, may you reside in me. Make Mother Sri, adorned with garlands of lotuses, to have Her abode in my ancestral line.
Kardamena prajaabhuutaa - Kardama was a Prajapati in the Maanvantara named Swaayambhuva. According to Vishnu Bhagavata (3.12.27), he was born of Brahma's shadow. The same description is also seen in Brahmavaivarta Purana (Brahmakhanda - 22). He is said to have married Manu's daughter Devahooti. However, Vishnu Purana speaks of a Rishi called Kardama, who took to severe austerities to please Sridevi, in order to please her. As a result, when Sri Lakshmi emerged out of the milky ocean, she accepted him as her father. Here, the words `kardamena prajaa bhoota' speak of Sridevi, who appeared as the daughter of Kardama.
Kardama is one of the three sons (Maanasa Putras) of Sridevi. The others are Ananda and Chikleeta. Because of Kardama, Sridevi became a mother, by having him as her son (prakrishtam apatyam yasyaaH saa suputravatii ityarthaH). Mayi sambhava - the Sadhaka requests Kardama to stay in his house forever and to be graceful to him. Maataram shriyam padmamaaliniim - Here Sridevi is described using two adjectives. `Maataa' means mother. Since this mantra is addressed to Kardama, Sridevi is referred to as the mother of Kardama. This may be read as `tava maataram' - `your mother', referring to Kardama alone. However, `tava' is avoided here to indicate the universal motherhood of Sridevi. She is not only Kardama's mother, but also of the myriads of universes that originate from her. The Rahasya Naama sahasra has given the utmost importance to the motherhood of goddesses by having the very first name as `Srimata'.
The second adjective is `Padmalinini'. Padma means Prakriti (nature) and a garland of lotuses means nothing but the different Tatvas like Avyakta, mahat, Indriyas etc. Hence, this adjective describes Sridevi as the Mulaprakriti, who wears (bears) all these Tatvas and hence the entire universe, which is but a congregation of these Tatvas. She is thus rightly called `Mata'.
Me kule vaasaya - The Sadhaka is requesting Kardama to inspire his mother Lakshmi to have her abode in the ancestral line of the Sadhaka. This is a prayer to Sridevi, through Kardama. `Kula' means house, family or lineage. The Sadhaka wants the grace of Lakshmi not only for himself, but also for his ancestors (Pitrus) and the generations to come. The Sadhaka is sure that by inviting Kardama, his mother Lakshmi will also come to reside with her son in the Sadhaka, owing to her motherly affection towards Kardama. In a much deeper sense, Kardama means Ganesha, the Lord of the Indriyas or the senses (kardamam ambikaasoonum gananaatham samaashrayet - Varavarnini Tantra). He resides in the Moolaadhaara, acting as the doorkeeper of Kundalini. (Now, the story of Ganesha guarding Parvati makes more sense right!) It is impossible to approach her, without his permission. Hence, an aspirant always begins Shakti Sadhana with Ganesha Upasana. The Sadhaka is praying to Sri Ganesha to reside in him and to be graceful. By this, the ascent of Kundalini becomes possible. The goddess can then ascend and traverse the path of kula (i.e. the six Adharas) to attend Paramashiva. The mala referred to here is the Akshara mala, which has Kundalini as the sutra and the letters of the Sanskrit alphabet as the beads. The letter `Ksham' is the meru, situated in the Ajna Chakra. The word `Padma' means `letter' here (varnaaH padmasamaprabhaaH - Kriyoddisha Tantra).
The Rishi of this mantra is `Kardama' and the metre is Anushtup. The presiding goddess is Mahalakshmi. `Kam' is the Bija, `vam' is the Shakti and `shriim' is the Kilaka. The meditation verse is as follows:
savasaa gauriva priitaa kardamena tathendiraa
kalyaaNii madgR^ihe nityaM nivaset padmamaalinii |
dhyaayet haaTakasannibhaaM dwinayanaaM divyaambaraala~NkR^itaam
satphullodara padmakomalayugashriimatkaraambhoruhaam ||
naanaaratnakiriiTakuNDalalasadvaktraambujaaM padminiim |
sarvaabhiiShTaphalapradaananirataaM sampatsamR^iddhyai sadaa ||
The twelfth mantra:
aapaH\_ sR^ija\`ntu\_ snigdhaa\`ni chiklii\`ta\_ vasa\` me gR^i\_he |
ni cha\` de\_viiM maa\_taraM\_ shriyaM\` vaa\_saya\` me ku\_le ||
May the holy waters create harmonious effects. O Chiklita, progeny of Sri! Reside at my home; and arrange to make Divine Mother Sri stay in my lineage!
AapaH snigdhaani srijantu - `Ap' means water in a general sense. Here however, the reference is to the Aapya Devatas (the deities of water). The entire creation is sustained by the element of water. It is the Yoni or source of the entire creation since the creation is reputed to have begun from water. The marvelous quality of water is its adhesiveness; its ability to binds things together. It is this quality of water that makes it all-sustaining. Adhesiveness also speaks of friendship or harmony. Thus, the Sadhaka prays to the Apya Devatas to generate harmony and friendship. Here, we must visualize water as the personification of Sridevi's grace.
The Rishi of this mantra intends to create (Srijana) peace and harmony in the universe by invoking the grace of Sridevi in the form of water. This is the greatness of our Vedic literature. There is not an inch of narrowness anywhere. The prayer is not only for the well-being of one's own self and family, but also for the welfare of the entire universe.
Chikliita - Chiklita is a Rishi, who is also a son of Lakshmi. The different commentators variously interpret him, as the son of Lakshmi, Kaama (Manmatha, the god of love), Chandra (moon) and as the doorkeeper of Sridevi's residence. It is, however appropriate to identify Chiklita with Kaama. Kaama (desire or lust) is born of Anna (food) and Jala (water). He is responsible for the various happenings of the illusionary world. This mantra is addressed to him. Devim mataram shriyam cha me kule ni vasaya - Similar to the previous mantra, this also describes Sridevi as the mother of Chiklita in particular and as the mother of the cosmos in general. The additional adjective used here is `Devi'. Since she shines (diivyati) in every being in the form of maternal instinct, she is called `Devi'. Again, the Sadhaka is seeking the grace of Sridevi, through the agency of her son Chiklita or Kaama. Lakshmi is described to be extremely affectionate towards Kaama, who was born as her son Pradyumna (in Krishnavatara). By obtaining his grace, the Sadhaka hopes, Sridevi shall also grace him. Until one wins over lust, Virya (regenerative fluid) cannot be transformed into chit. Till this happens, the awakening of Kundalini is impossible. Only with the force of chit, awakening and ascent become possible. Thus, one needs to win over the cardinal urge completely to obtain the grace of Sridevi. The Kaama that we talk about here is the intense craving for Sridevi's grace, and not of any physical desire. This naturally brings about Chitta Suddhi and hence, Virya Parishkarana.
The seer of this mantra is Chiklita, Anushtup is the Chandas and the deity is Amriteshwari Mahalakshmi. `Am' is the Bija, `Lam' is the Shakti and `shriim' is the Kilaka. Dhyana Shloka is as follows:
dhyaayet kalpatarormuule ratnasimhaasane sthitaam
padmadwayadharaaM padmaaM varadaabhayadhaariNiim |
hemadaNDasitacChatrachaamaradwaya viijitaam ||
The thirteenth mantra:
aa\_rdraaM puShkari\`NiiM pu\_ShTiM pi\_~Ngalaa\`M padma\_maali\`niim |
cha\_ndraaM hi\_raNma\`yiiM la\_kShmiiM jaata\`vedo ma\_ aa va\`ha ||
Invoke for me, O Jaataveda, Lakshmi who is compassionate, attended by elephants, who nourishes all, adorned with garland of lotuses, having a golden-red complexion, shining like the moon and lustrous like the gold.
Ardraam - We have analyzed this word in the previous mantra. This may be understood to mean compassionate or as having soothing (cooling - shiitala taapahaarii) quality. The description hidden here is of Sri Gajalakshmi, who is served by two elephants. She is wet because of the nectar that flows out from the golden vessels held by the two elephants. The Rishis have hereby indicated Chittaparikarma as the means of attending Sridevi. When a Sadhaka refines his mind by developing qualities like Maitri (friendship with the world), Muditaa (bliss), Karunaa (compassion) and Titikashaa (endurance), he becomes eligible to invite and receive Sridevi.
Pushkariniim - `Pushkara' means a male elephant. Thus, `Pushkarini', means a female elephant. It is believed that eight elephants assist Sri Adishesha by holding the earth in all the eight directions. These are known as the `Diggajas'. These elephants are extremely devoted to Sridevi and show their devotion to her by bathing her with nectar. This is indicated in the meditation verse of Sri Mahalakshmi. However, Gajalakshmi is depicted as accompanied by two elephants on either side, holding golden vessels. These two are called `Mamakaara' (possessiveness) and `Mada' (ego). The golden Kalashas that they hold are `Aasha' (desire) and `Priiti' (attachment or love). The cool water (or nectar) that flows from these vessels is called `Tripti' (satisfaction).
Pushkarini also means a lake or a pond filled with lotuses. The lotus creeper is also called Pushkarini. Hence, this depicts Sridevi as holding lotus creepers or as living in a lotus pond. Padma Purana speaks of an incident in which Sridevi, angry with Indra and other Devatas, hid herself in a lotus pond.
Pushti - means to nourish. The presiding deity of nourishment is Sri Lakshmi (Pushtyabhimaaninii ). The Markandeya Purana says, `Yaa Devi sarva bhooteshu pushti roopena samsthita'. The entire universe obtains sustenance and nourishment from Her.
Pingalaa - `Pinga' means fire. The reddish-yellow color in the edge of the flaming fire is called Pingala. Here, this is described to be Sridevi's complexion. Red depicts Rajas and Yellow represents Satva. Sridevi fulfills the desires of both these kinds of Sadhakas. These respectively indicate Divya and Vira bhavas of Sadhakas. Pingalaa is also a name of Sri Durga. There are various books on Tantra, which extol the worship of Sri Durga like Pingalaa mataprakasha, Pingalaa pranavopanishat etc.
No further discussion of the rest of the words is necessary since these have already been analyzed. This mantra hints at a Prayoga like the one indicated in Lalitopakhyana. A Sadhaka has to chant this mantra, invoking Sri Devi in the lunar orbit. This is said to grant Amritatva Siddhi (immortality). The two elephants that we spoke of, refer to Lalata and Lalana Chakras, which are responsible for the flow of Kulamrita. The tantras also describe the Kulamrita as having a reddish color. Kundalini, nourished and satisfied with Kulamrita, returns to Moolaadhaara, still soaked in amrita. Also, the place of concentration here is Ajna Chakra, which is the location of Chandra mandala (not to be confused with the Chicchandra mandala of the Sahasrara).
The seer of this Rik is Jaataveda, metre is Anushtup and goddess is Sri Mahalakshmi. `Aam' is the Bija, `Swaaha' is the Shakti and `shriim' is the Kilaka. The Dhyana Shloka is as follows:
aakaashapadmaakarachandrabimba plavollasantiiM paripuurNakaantim |
padmasthitaaM padmakaraaM prapadye lakShmiiM alakShmii vinivR^ittaye.anvaham ||
The fourteenth mantra:
aa\_rdraaM yaHkari\`NiiM ya\_ShTiM suvarNaa\`M hema\_maali\`niim |
suuryaaM hi\_raNma\`yiiM la\_kShmiiM jaata\`vedo ma\_ aa va\`ha ||
Invoke for me, O Jaataveda, Lakshmi who is compassionate, holding a rod, having a golden complexion, adorned with golden ornaments, brilliant as the sun, dazzling like gold.
YaHkariniim yashtim - some commentaries feel that the word `Yahkarini' is a distortion of the word `Yashtikarini', which means `holding a rod or Danda'. Sri Lakshmi is thus the Dharma devata, who holds the dharma Danda. This also speaks of her form as Yama or death. She is also death or Mrityu. She is the death of all limited and dualistic objects or concepts. `Karini' means a female elephant and `Yah' means `to stroll'. Thus Sridevi is depicted in this Rik as a strolling female elephant. This adjective is a synonym of the word `Pushkarini' that we saw in the previous mantra.
Suvarnaam - Suvarna is the polished, refined form of gold. Thus, Sridevi is described to be having a golden luster. Suvarna also means the best color or gift, if we split the word as `Su' - `the best' and `varna' - `color or gift'. The greatest of all gifts is salvation (Moksha Lakshmi) and Sridevi alone is capable of granting it. `Hema' - It basically means `gold' again. Sri Devi is picturised as decorated with golden ornaments. However, Hema also means Sumeru mountain, which is the favorite abode of Sridevi. Sridevi is the Moola Prakriti (nature personified), adorned with the mountains as her ornaments. Sumeru forms her golden necklace (haimamaalaam sumervaatmam gale dhritvaa prakaashati - Kalika Purana).
Soorya - the sun, responsible for the sustenance of the entire creation is none other than Sri Narayana. Thus, his Vaishnavi Shakti is called Suuryaa. She is brilliant like the sun, destroying the glooming darkness of ignorance and duality. This mantra invokes Sridevi in the solar orbit.
A Prayoga instructs the Sadhaka to chant this mantra, while performing Trataka on the rising sun. This is said to confer eighteen Maha Siddhis. I have actually seen a great Sadhu who worshipped Sri Mahatripurasundari with Sri Sukta. He meditated on Sridevi, chanting this particular mantra, fixing his gaze on the sun. This is however, possible only after a tremendous Yogic Sadhana. Some Dhyana verses that I have included here are from his copy of Sri Sukta Prayoga. In the yogic sense, the Surya mandala is situated in the Anahata lotus. The Vaikhanasa Tantra asks the Sadhaka to meditate on Sri Devi in his heart lotus, bathing her with devotion and respect.
The lotus blooms only after sunrise. In the same way, the grace of Sridevi causes the heart of the devotee to bloom. The Vedic culture has seen and worshipped all deities in the solar orbit. He is the Pratyaksha Bhagavan in the age of kali. This also indicates the non-difference between Lakshmi and Sri Gayathri. Both are of the form of Brahma Vidya. A scholar from Orissa (I do not recall his name) has beautifully brought out the essence of this Sukta, deriving at the same time, the secret formulas of Gayathri and Panchadashi. What most people chant everyday is actually Savitri and not Gayathri. The actual formula of Gayathri is said to be hidden in the Vedic literature. The great Acharya of Sringeri Sri Vidya Tirtha Swamigal once said that the actual formula of Gayathri was self- revelatory. It reveals itself when a person attains the necessary spiritual state.
The seer of this mantra is Jaataveda, metre is Anushtup and the goddess is Sri Rajyalakshmi. `Sriim' is the Bija, `ham' is the Shakti and `hriim' is the Kilaka. The Dhyana Shloka is:
padmaM maNimayaM kumbhaM ikShuchaapaM cha bibhratiim |
puShpabaaNaaM mahalakShmiiM dhyaayed raajyapradaayiniim ||
The fifteenth mantra:
taaM ma\_ aa va\`ha jaatavedo la\_kShmiiM a\`napagaa\_minii\`m |
yasyaaM\_ hira\`NyaM\_ prabhuu\`taM\_ gaavo\` daa\_syoshwaan\` vi\_ndeyaM\_ puru\`Shaanaham ||
Invoke for me O Jaataveda, that Goddess Lakshmi, who is ever unfailing, being blessed by whom I shall win wealth in plenty, cattle, servants, horses and men.
This is like the Phalashruti for the entire Sukta. The seer of this mantra is Kubera, metre is Prastaara pankti and deity is Sarva Saubhagya Lakshmi. `Hriim' is the Bija, `shriim' is the Shakti and `hriim' is the Kilaka. The Dhyana Shloka is:
dhyaayellakShmiiM prahasitamukhiiM raajyasimhaasanasthaam
mudraashaktiM sakalavinutaaM sarvasamsevyamaanaam |
agnau puujyaaM akhilajananiiM hemavarNaaM hiraNyaam
bhaagyopetaaM bhuvanasukhadaaM bhaargaviiM bhuutidaatriim ||
The rest of the verses, are said to be only Phalashruti. Since the fifteenth verse is already a Phalashruti Shloka, these are not accepted to be a part of the actual Sukta. The scholars feel that these have been added some time later by the Niruktakaras. Most of these are popular shlokas from the Smriti and hence I have omitted them here. Some Sadhakas use these shlokas too for Purascharana, but this is not necessary. I was told by my guru to recite the Sukta 108 times and then conclude the Japa by chanting these verses. But some works on mantra Shastra like the Samrajya lakshmi Hridaya instruct the Sadhaka to include these shlokas as well in the Japa.